Archive for March, 2013

Vox Populi

March 14, 2013

For those of you kind enough to inquire, the answer is: 50-to-1 at Paddy Power in the Emerald Isle.   🙂

Saints be praised!



Boaring News

March 13, 2013

When feng shui soothsayers predicted that the Pig would be in clash with the Water Snake in 2013, they sure weren’t kidding!

“The animal sign which has the most unfavorable aspect is the Pig, which is in direct clash against the Snake. The Snake is in clash against the Pig: Snake is fire and Pig is water …  For the Pig, the clash against the Snake could bring accidents related to fire and water.”

Although some asserted that this cosmic conflict would be most clearly manifested in the month of the Pig, not everyone could wait until then:


The number of dead pigs collected from Shanghai‘s Huangpu River has increased to 5,916, Shanghai authorities announced Tuesday.  Workers have been busy collecting the corpses of floating pigs since Friday.
Laboratory tests found porcine circovirus … in one water sample taken from the Huangpu River. Tags pinned to the ears of the pigs for tracing purposes indicate that they may have come from the upper reaches of the Huangpu River in Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province. The tags, however, only indicate the animals’ birthplace.

Apparently, the PRC only requires up-to-date residence permits for its hominid inhabitants.  Officials in Zhejiang Province were careful to minimize the situation, lest disquieting rumors disturb domestic tranquility.

A statement from the agriculture department of Zhejiang said no signs of a [swine] epidemic were found in Jiaxing. The death rate of local hogs was normal, said Jiang Hao, vice head of the animal husbandry bureau of Jiaxing.
According to a report on the March 6 edition of Jiaxing Daily, dumping of dead pigs in rivers is common among Jiaxing villagers due to overexpansion of the hog industry and a lack of burial sites.
Most hog producers in Jiaxing are small, family-run farms.  Lacking legal awareness, some farmers freely disposed of their pig carcasses, said Yu Hongwei, vice head of the environment protection bureau of Jiaxing.


When it’s official policy to “serve the people”, a technocrat can scarcely go wrong by placing responsibility on the innocent, ignorant peasants.  In the words of Chairman Mao, the Party must learn from the masses.

But maybe those peasants aren’t so dumb after all.  Instead, perhaps they’re operating in an environment of heightened legal awareness:

A court in east China’s Zhejiang Province on Wednesday issued prison sentences ranging from six months to six-and-a-half years to 46 people involved in processing and selling meat from diseased pigs.  From 2010 to 2012, they illegally purchased, slaughtered and sold diseased pigs and processed diseased pork to sell.
The principal offender … was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison and fined 800,000 yuan (128,687 U.S. dollars), according to the Wenling People’s Court.  6,218 kilograms of pork products that tested positive for various viruses have been seized and will be destroyed.

Indeed, maybe one should consider the possibility that those semi-literate Zhejiang peasants are sending a none-too-subtle message floating downriver to soon-to-be-designated Vice President Li Yuanchao, son of a former vice mayor of Shanghai:  “why is the Party picking on the little guy when there are much bigger fish to fry?